This Day in Minnesota History

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Today's Date: January 23

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1855

A cable suspension bridge opens between Minneapolis and Nicollet Island. The first permanent span over the main channel of the Mississippi River, it could be crossed by paying a toll of three cents (one way) or five cents (round trip) per human foot-passenger, fifteen cents per horse, and two cents per head for sheep.

1865

First National Bank of Minneapolis commences business with a capital of $50,000. With beginnings in a private bank co-owned by its first president, Jacob K. Sidle, the institution would go through several name changes, celebrating seventy-five years in business in 1939 as First National Bank and Trust Company of Minneapolis and then reverting to its original name in 1943.

1929

The three-day trial of Lake Charles resident Ben Shock, charged with not having a license for his beagle, begins. Declaring a case of mistaken identity, Shock claims that his beagle had died and that the license fee collector had seen him with another beagle. Shock refuses to pay bail and is jailed for thirty days while the judge ponders the case, finally ruling that Shock had been wronged and should be set free.

1976

Milton Reynolds, an Albert Lea native who became a millionaire by his astute and early mass production and promotion of a new type of ball-point pen in the 1940s, dies in Chicago.

1986

Northwest Airlines agrees to buy Republic Airlines for $884 million, a purchase that would form a single Twin Cities-based carrier and the third-largest airline in the United States.

1986

William Rubin, former president of Flight Transportation Corporation of Eden Prairie, and Janet Karki, his chief financial officer, are found guilty by a federal jury in St. Paul of perpetrating "the largest financial fraud in Minnesota's history" by engineering a sale of about $25 million in stock for a mostly fictitious company.